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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

24 January 2015

24/01/2015 - Earn A Meerkatsu GrappleThon Shirt | Artemis BJJ | Open Mat | Open Guard

Class #625
Artemis BJJ (PHNX Fitness), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 24/01/2015

Meerkatsu's GrappleThon shirt design is ready! The ONLY way to earn one of those is to set up a fundraising page on MyDonate for Equality Now and get in some donations (full details of how to do that here). All donations, no matter how small, would be very welcome: please help us reach our £4,000 target for charity! Any amount gratefully accepted, and it's all for a great cause. Head over to the MyDonate fundraising page to send your pennies (or dollars, yen, whatever, you can donate from anywhere in the world), here. :D

I'm especially excited about the prospect of someone over in the US setting up a simultaneous GrappleThon (like this). I've tried to get that going before but it unfortunately didn't happen. Still a goal of mine, so it would be super cool if anyone managed to run a GrappleThon for Equality Now at the same time as the Artemis BJJ GrappleThon here in Bristol. Keep in mind that if you do that, then as long as you set up a fundraising page and join the team, you're in with a chance of getting a shirt. ;)

Should you still be unclear on any of the details for the GrappleThon, everything you need to know can be found on the main event page, here.

My return to sparring continues, as I risked free sparring with some of the bigger, stronger guys that pop along to open mat. That meant I got in both gi and nogi sparring, which is unusual for me. In the gi, I was using the stiff arm guard yet again. I think I'm still not pushing my chest out enough, though I feel like I'm starting to get the transition into my favoured tripod/sickle combination sweep. That worked for me a number of times, but I wasn't coming up to capitalise. Following my own advice, I need to concentrate on controlling that foot so they can't pre-empt me by coming up first. Using the sleeve or collar for additional momentum would help too. I'm hampered by my injury on that, but should still control the leg much more than I did today.

I ended up on the back a few times, having worked on crawling around from guard a few times unsuccessfully (thinking back to where I was before the injury, more side guard required). I always go for the seat belt as that's the most secure grip, but the old double lapel grip came in handy today, enabling me to retain control. At the same time, I need to be careful my position isn't too far forward as they try to fling me off their back when they're in turtle. My neck and face got smushed into the mat as he rolled through. I maintained control, but that could be risky for my neck (fortunately it was fine, I could tuck my head in, but I did scrape my face along the mats).

Speaking of the stiff arm guard, I used the stiff arm escape from side control a bunch of times too, but didn't maintain control properly there either. However, it did enable me to recover back to guard a number of times, so that's still handy. I am finding that one more and more useful, so will definitely try and teach that during side control month in May.

In nogi I was again using the stiff arm guard, in conjunction with some of my preferred nogi grips. I'm feeling a lot happier about nogi from guard than I used to, as now I go to the shoulder clamp. If I can get the head, that's fine too. Either option means I can combine it with the butterfly sweep, though I was perhaps too single-minded about the butterfly sweep. There's other stuff I could be trying from that position. Still, all in all an enjoyable re-entry into normal sparring for me. :)

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